Deanston has an interesting history. Established in 1785 as the Deanston Cotton Mill, it was responsible for employing 1500 people. A self-contained village formed as the mill flourished, with buildings that survived up to today. During the Napoleonic wars, the village even had its own currency called “Deanstons”.
Deanston Cotton Mill closed in 1965 but it was not the end. A joint effort by James Finlay & Co, Brodie Hepburn & Co, and A.B (Sandy) Grant converted the mill into a distillery. Known as the Deanston Distillers Ltd, these guys instilled new life into the defunct cotton mill.
Deanston distillery officially opened in January 1967 and started bottling in 1971. Deanston was largely used for blends at first. Invergordon Distillers purchased Deanston in 1972 and bottled its first single malt in 1974 bearing the name Deanston. In the years of low demand, Deanston was closed for 8 years from 1982 to 1990. It was bought by current owners Burn Stewart Distillers Limited (part of Distell Group Limited) in 1990 and production starts again.
The object of this review is a special release by Deanston as an in-house bottle. This means that the bottle is available only at the distillery. The friendship between Quaich Bar Singapore and Distell translates into the availability of 200 bottles of this expression in Singapore.
Let’s dive into the tasting notes now.
Colour: Soft Gold
Nose: The nose is a pleasant surprise. At 57.9% abv, the expected nose is spice, but what wafts into the nose is light and fruity with a slight grassy note. Honeyed notes appear after a while, giving the nose a slight sweetness. Spice lingers pleasantly in the background. (17/20)
Palate: Honeyed notes settled in the palate immediately with light, fruity notes of green apples. Gentle spice combines perfectly with the sweet honeyed notes to create an immensely pleasant palate. (18/20)
Finish: Medium to long finish with green fruits and pleasant spice lingering in the mouth. (18/20)
Body: Light and well-balanced whisky! It is a pleasant and easy to drink whisky even at its high abv. The appeal of the whisky is heightened by the contrast of high abv and gentle spice. Definitely a worthy dram! (34/40)
Total Score: 87 / 100
Geek Flora: “I love this expression. The brandy finish has given the whisky the unique character of being light and fruity despite the high abv. The fact that the spice is gentle and soft is also a big selling point for me. I am keeping at least 2 bottles of this, if not more.”